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Search DEVONthink Databases using HoudahSpot

This post applies to DEVONthink Pro (Office). Users of the new DEVONthink 3 should refer to the updated version of this post.

DEVONthink is a smart document management solution for Mac. It lets you organize and work with all your documents — bookmarks, email messages, text files, images, PDFs — in one place, regardless where they come from.

Now that you have all your documents stored and organized in DEVONthink, you can rely on both DEVONthink and HoudahSpot to always find the piece of information you need.

In order for HoudahSpot to find the contents of your DEVONthink database, you just need to enable Spotlight indexing:

  1. Open DEVONthink
  2. Select your database in the File > Database Properties… menu
  3. In the Database Properties window, check the Create Spotlight Index option

The items in the DEVONthink database will now be added to the Spotlight index. These items will appear as .dtp2 files in HoudahSpot.

Your HoudahSpot searches will automatically pick up notes and documents stored in your DEVONthink database. You can, of course, restrict searches to DEVONthink items only by specifying the .dtp2 file extension or its equivalent content type com.devon-technologies.metadata.thinkpro.

To get started, simply download the DEVONthink Search Template.

You can restrict your search to a certain type of notes by using the Document Kind criterion. For example, set it to:

  • “RTF” to search for Rich Text Files
  • “JPG” to search for JPEG images
  • “PDF” to search for PDF files that contain only images (e.g. scanned documents)
  • “PDF+TEXT” to search for PDF files that have text content (e.g. from OCR)
Use “begins with PDF” to find both kinds of PDF documents in DEVONthink


To discover other values used for Document Kind, use the Info panel in HoudahSpot to inspect your DEVONthink files.

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